Long Live the Queen: Five Days To Honor Aretha Franklin

Here’s everything you need to know about the week of ceremonies leading up to the funeral of iconic Detroiter Aretha Franklin.

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Over the course of a week, people from around the world will gather in Detroit to pay their respects to Aretha Franklin, who passed away at the age of 76.  Among her achievements, Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards, released Billboard Top 100 singles in six decades, and was the first woman immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Beyond the numbers, the Queen of Soul will always be one of Detroit’s most beloved daughters.  Here’s everything you need to know about the five days of events honoring her life:


On August 27th, a gospel tribute to Franklin will be held at the New Bethel Baptist Church, located at 8430 Linwood St. in Detroit.  A list of singers including Laura Lee, Douglas Miller, and Deronda Clark-Cole will be on hand to perform.  The event is free and open to the public.  Start time for the service is set for 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday & Wednesday

On August 28th and 29th, Aretha Franklin will lie in state at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 E. Warren Ave.  The visitation will be held in the museum’s rotunda and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days.


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On August 30th, there will be a free tribute concert at Chene Park Amphitheater, located at 2600 Atwater St. in Detroit.  It will include performances by The Four Tops, Gladys Knight, Ron Isley, and about 20 more acts.  The show is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The outdoor venue has a capacity for 6,000 spectators.

The concert is free and open to the public, but a ticket will be required.  Those will be made available on Ticketmaster’s website starting at 10 a.m. on Monday and are limited to two per user.  Ticketmaster is waving all ticket fees to ensure the event stays truly free.  All tickets will be digital in order to prevent scalping.

Apple users can download Ticketmaster’s app here.  Android users can download it here.


August 31st will be the day of Aretha Franklin’s funeral service.  It’ll be held at the Greater Grace Temple, which is located at 23500 W. Seven Mile Rd. in Detroit’s west side.  The likes of Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, The Clark Sister, Jennifer Hudson, and over a dozen more acts will perform during the service.  Former President Bill Clinton will be among the notables in attendance and a motorcade of pink Cadillacs will be parked outside.

The service will begin at 10 a.m.  While the funeral itself will not be open to the public, screens will be located outside for those who wish to gather and watch the ceremony live. 

101.9 FM WDET will broadcast the funeral live on radio, and a video stream will be available on the WDET website.



  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.